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Millionaire Shifts Company Control: 700 Employees Now Owners

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On February 10, 2024, Bob Moore, the creator of Bob’s Red Mill, passed away at the age of 94. The company’s whole grain products and employee-friendly policies are what make it famous. Mr. Moore had set up a special ownership system for his company that made natural foods. According to a Fortune article, he gave his 700 employees full ownership of the business rather than selling it to a food conglomerate.
On his 81st birthday in 2010, Mr. Moore announced the creation of an employee stock ownership plan for his 209 workers, giving up ownership of the company. Long before he passed away, the company, which employed 700 people by April 2020, was fully owned by its employees.

“As our small business grew, I realized I had a great opportunity for generosity,” Mr. Moore said. “My favorite bible scripture, Matthew 7:12, says do unto others as you’d want them to do unto you. That’s something I think we should all live by.” He told the outlet that he intended to avoid conventional business models in which owners and management prioritize their profits over employees.

The businessman said in 2018 that Bob’s Red Mill was “an absolute dream come true”. In another interview, he said that he loved the company so much that he would never sell it and therefore resisted many offers. “They thought I was just a lame-brained idiot because I didn’t want to sell my company. They told me how stupid I was, but you can’t build what I’ve built and be really stupid,” he added.

Despite having retired from the company in 2018, Mr. Moore remained a board member until his passing. After a lifetime of ups and downs, he asserted that his secret to success was to always keep his true north in mind. “I’ve been everywhere in the world. My house is really nice. I’ve achieved success. I haven’t wasted any cash. “Having enough to do these things is a wonderful pleasure, but here’s the thing: You need to have a purpose,” he stated.

The millionaire established the company at the age of 49. Before this, he was a gas station owner and store manager at J.C. Penney.  He came out of early retirement to start the business and he had dedicated himself to the study of the Bible. His company’s revenue was estimated to be over $100 million in revenue as of 2018, according to Forbes. Bob’s Red Mill sells over 200 products in more than 70 countries.

Announcing Mr Moore’s death, the company said, “Bob’s passion, ingenuity and respect for others will forever inspire the employee-owners of Bob’s Red Mill, and we will carry on his legacy by bringing wholesome foods to people around the world. We will truly miss his energy and larger-than-life personality.”

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